So, you’ve heard alot about an infection called MRSA huh? Well, what is MRSA anyway? MRSA is an acronym that stands for Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus. Now, I know exactly what you’re thinking…..what in the heck does methicillin-resistant mean? Well my friend I’m here to expose the importance of understanding MRSA and what it means to be infected by MRSA.
It was just a short time ago when MRSA was typically a nosicomial infection, meaning an infection that was usually inherited in an institutionalized setting (i.e. hospital, nursing home, long term care facilities etc). Lately, this tiny microbe has been on the move and reaking havock wherever it lands! I’m sure you’ve heard the term Community Acquired MRSA or CA-MRSA, right? Well, it’s the same little microbe which is now finding it’s way into our communities. Now, let’s get down to the nitty gritty! Shall we?
Methilcillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus refers to a strain of bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics commonly used to treat staph infections. Now the term “methicillin resistant” emerged due to the fact that this particular strain of staphylococcus bacteria became resistant or unresponsive to a class of drugs which were specifically manufactured to treat staphylococcus aureus infections. That class of antibiotics are known as the anti-staphylococcus antibiotics which includes Meticillin. Other drugs in that class are Dicloxacillin, Oxacillin and Nafcillin.
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So, moving right along! Now that you’ve gotten a little history on the emergence of MRSA, let’s talk about the effects on human beings. Guys, there is no simple way to put this, MRSA is a flat out NASTY, NASTY BUG! An active MRSA infection can appear to be a pimple, a boil or even resemble a spider bite! It isn’t until the wound becomes extremely painful, red and in some cases abcessed off that people realize that it is something more. This is an infection that you absolutely do not want to play around with! No more self diagnosis and treatments! Here’s why you should not try to self diagnose or treat! MRSA can penetrate deep into your skin and tissue and lodge itself into your bones and joint causing an osteomyelitis or it can get into your heart valves or blood stream and cause a life-threatening endocarditis or sepsis. Pretty scary right! Following, is a list of symptoms that can be used to identify a skin and skin structure infection. This list is not inclusive of all symptoms and should not be misinterpreted!
1. Is the area swollen?
2. Is there heat production?
3. Is the area red and tender to the touch?
4. Is there any bruising or discoloration?
5. Is it itchy, are there any hives present?
Now, that’s just a quick and simple checklist of things to identify if you suspect you may have some type of skin infection. Please note, not all skin problems are infections, but with CA-MRSA continuing to rise, its best to heir on the side of caution! Remember, never try to self diagnose always seek the attention of a medical professional!
So in conclusion, methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus is a force to be reckoned with. It is a serious infection that can lead to serious health problems including fatalities. It is an infection that requires prompt diagnosis and treatment. With this little one, time is of the essence! TO YOUR HEALTH .
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